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19 Words That Mean Something Totally Different In Silicon Valley

Let's go ideate at Coupa.

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1. "Hacking"

Relativity Media

What it means elsewhere: Breaking into someone else's computer, usually illegally. Something bad that happened to Jennifer Lawrence.

What it means in SV: An invaluable talent that will net you six figures.

2. "Business attire"

HBO

What it means elsewhere: A suit and tie.

What it means in SV: Jeans, a free t-shirt, and quirky socks.

3. "Let's break things."

20th Century Fox

What it means elsewhere: Let's destroy objects, perhaps in a riotous fashion.

What it means in SV: Let's create the next Instagram.

4. "Palo Alto"

RabbitBandini Productions

What it means elsewhere: Where Stanford is.

What it means in SV: Where Stanford is and WHERE EVERYTHING IMPORTANT HAPPENS. #MECCA

5. "Disrupt"

NBC

What it means elsewhere: To interrupt, likely in a rude manner.

What it means in SV: To destroy all the competition around your start-up so that your company remains as the sole beacon of hope in a world surrounded by digital rubble.

6. "Growth Hacker"

Netflix

What it means elsewhere: The subject line of a penis enhancement spam email.

What it means in SV: Basically someone who works in advertising and sales wanted a cooler job title.

7. "Empathize"

BBC / Via wordpress.com

What it means elsewhere: Find ways to understand the lives of others.

What it means in SV: Find ways to sell products to others.

8. "Stanford University"

youtube.com

What it means elsewhere: The top-ranked university in the United States.

What it means in SV: The birthplace of Snapchat.

9. "Ideate"

Cartoon Network

What it means elsewhere: Nothing, that's gibberish, that's not a real word.

What it means in SV: A fancy-ass word for thinking.

10. "Innovation"

cheezburger.com

What it means elsewhere: Something totally new and useful, like man-made fire or indoor plumbing.

What it means in SV: An app that lets you send unsolicited nude pics to that girl from your econ lecture.

11. "Incubator"

HBO

What it means elsewhere: A place where you put premature babies.

What it means in SV: A bungalow where grown-ups and teenagers gather to drink beer, play Settlers of Catan, and come up with ideas.

12. "Thought Leader"

youtube.com

What it means elsewhere: Would that be like... a professor? I guess?

What it means in SV: Anyone with hair big enough to signify wisdom.

13. "Steve Jobs"

What it means elsewhere: The eccentric and beloved late CEO of Apple.What it means in SV: God.
Getty Images Justin Sullivan

What it means elsewhere: The eccentric and beloved late CEO of Apple.

What it means in SV: God.

14. "Coupa Cafe"

theprospect.net

What it means elsewhere: A coffee shop, probably.

What it means in SV: The best place for eavesdropping / where all the deals go down.

15. "Angel"

Comedy Central / Via comedycentral.tumblr.com

What it means elsewhere: A sweet lil' cherub who takes care of you, looks after you, and listens to your prayers.

What it means in SV: Same.

16. "Clinkle"

HBO / Via riffinbits.tumblr.com

What it means elsewhere: Is that a cute word for peeing?

What it means in SV: We had such high hopes.

17. "The Google Bus"

mrlapadite.tumblr.com

What it means elsewhere: A major public nuisance.

What it means in SV: You've made it, buddy.

18. "Transparency"

New Line Cinema

What it means elsewhere: The ability to see through something, like a piece of cellophane or a glass ceiling.

What it means in SV: You thought there were secrets on the Internet? Haha.

19. "Entrepreneur"

reddit.com

What it means elsewhere: A small-business owner who creates new value for her community.

What it means in SV: Literally anyone.

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